Northern Cape – Karoo

Map Karoo - Northern Cape

Karoo Region


The Karoo area of the Northern Cape stretches eastwards along the boundary with the Western Cape, the bounadary of the Eastern Cape and the boundary with the Free State Provinces in the south.  It then follows the boundary of the Northern Cape northwards along the provincial boundary past Kimberley.  The boundary then follows to the south of the N14 and then southwards to include the towns of Kenhardt, Carnarvon, and Victoria West. This area is often referred to as the Great Karoo region.


This area can best be described as a semiarid region which is home to assorted succulents and low shrub bushes.  The vegetation is sparse and far apart.  There is no surface water present in this area, ie. rivers or dams.  Water is often pumped from underground water sources and windmills are a common sight throughout this area.  The semiarid characteristic of this area resulted in the region deriving its name from the Khoisan word meaning 'land of thirst'.

The area is known for its sheep farming, and although large game is not abundant in this region, it does have a large variety of smaller mammals.  The Riverine Rabbit is endemic to this part of the world, but is sadly on the brink of extinction due to habitat loss.  This region was also once known to home to large herds of Quagga, but sadly these distinctively coloured antelopes became extinct.

Main national transport routes connecting  the city of Cape Town via Bloemfontein, Johannesburg and Pretoria up to the border with Zimbabwe, run through this area.  The main road N1 and main rail routes bisect this area from north east to south west.   None the less, the distances between towns in this area are enormous due to its sparse population.

Star Gazing

The area is part of the Great Escarpment, which is a large high-lying plateau.  The town of Sutherland, located north of the N1 highway through the Verlatenkloof Pass, is reputed to be the coldest town in South Africa with average minimum temperatures of -6 degrees during winter.  Snowfalls are also a common sight in Sutherland in winter.  The South Africa Astronomical Observatory built its Southern African Large Telescope, the largest optical telescope in the southern Hemisphere, just 20km outside of the town.  Further north-west, outside the town of Carnarvon, the SKA (Square Kilometer Array) is located. This project currently consists of seven radio dishes which scan and document our galaxy and our Milky Way.  This area is the ideal location for astronomical observatories as there are clear skies, an absence of artificial lights and high altitudes.  Also, the area is techtonically completely inactive, meaning that it is not prone to earthquakes.

Towns and Villages

The driest part of this region is located towards the southwestern corner.  Here the region receives less than 75mm of rainfall annually.  This area is called the Tankwa Karoo.  The Karoo area is also home to the independent state of Orania, a self-proclaimed Afrikaner volkstaat, and Hopetown, the first town that was established on the news of the first recorded diamond find, are also located within this region.

What to expect

This region offers visitors vast plains, endless vistas, majestic mountains, crystal-clear air and interesting natural and historical sites.  The Karoo invites its visitors to take a step off the beaten track and explore the area on foot, on horseback, on a mountain bike or in a 4x4 vehicle.

30+ camping sites in the Karoo Region of the Northern Cape.
Find your perfect spot.


Below is a listing of camp sites that have been featured and have a blog. 
Click on the image to read the blog and find out more about each camp site.

More interesting articles on camp sites in the area coming soon

Listing of Camp Sites

Below is a listing of camp sites in the Karoo Region of the Northern Cape.
Click on the image and you will be directed to the respective websites for more information and contact details.

We are constantly on the lookout for more camping sites in this area.

Should you find that we have not included a camping site and would like us to include it on this list, send us an email at

Please note that we are not responsible for bookings at any of the sites listed above.

The Ikamu website offers a listing of camping sites in the region.  We do not take any responsibility should the camp site information become inaccurate or incomplete.  Ikamu also does not take any responsibility for any poorly managed camp sites or camping facilities.

This webpage was designed by an enthusiastic camper who wants to enable other campers to find their ideal camping site.